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need strategy advice!!!

junkerjunker subscriber Posts: 1
edited July 2007 in Sales
Hi everybody, I run a junk removal
company in a major city. For many years, this business was very
profitable, and my company enjoyed a significant market share.
However, in the last couple years several other companies have
emerged on the scene, offering services very similar to ours. Could
anybody out there please give me some advice on how to get a
competitive advantage or to retake some of my company`s market share?


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    MarkBMarkB subscriber Posts: 2
    Hi Junker,I think that you have a real challenge ahead of you. The junk removal business has always had the problem that is was such an easy business to get into. Basically all you need is a pickup truck and a strong back. So your competition could be fierce. Also, with the onslaught of 1-800-Got-Junk  franchises coming in an taking over the markets with aggressive marketing and brilliant branding, I am sure it can be tough.I like what Got Junk has managed to do in the junk removal business. They have raised the collective awareness of the junk removal business, as well as convinced the public that there are reputable professionals that they can trust to invite into their homes to pick things up. They concentrate their marketing efforts on a few simple things:1. Clean, professional equipment and uniformed employees2. On time service with a rate guarantee3. They do all the loading. All you have to do is pickup the phoneIn other words, they establish confidence and creditability in what they are doing, and customers will pay a premium for them to do it. My suggestion would be to see if there are things that they are doing that you could emulate. Spend some time on marketing your business, be mindful of your staff`s appearance and how they treat your customers. Since you have been in the business for a long time, you could use that in your marketing, establishing your commitment to your customers over time. Also, take some to think about why your prospects would call you instead of someone else and communicate that to them.Best of luck!Mark Bebout
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    crazydiamondcrazydiamond subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi there, I just have a few comments that I hope can help you.What is your new competition offering? Is it simply the same service, and they are undercutting you?Is there anything you can offer that we would be the least challenged to meet? Your competitive advantage needs to be defensible, as well as convincing.In my experience, the best ways to develop competitive edges is to make your service clearly better than the others. You could try offering additional services in addition to your core one of junk removal. Do you have any experience at other services that you could bundle? Marketing your service as the more organized, experienced and/or cheaper one, is hard to actually defend.From what you said in your first post, it sounds like you were/are one of the first companies on the scene, so you hopefully you have an established group of loyal clientele. Try to encourage word-of-mouth advertising or referrals to take advantage of this.
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    DaleKingDaleKing subscriber Posts: 141
    Hello junker, because of the nature of your business, no one here give you any advice worth using without knowing where you live, intimate details about your company as well as details about your competition, including the type of advertising you`re doing etc.
    The more details you provide, the better the information you`ll receive back.
    Dale King
     DKing2007-7-3 19:6:39
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    DearlyDepartedTshirtsDearlyDepartedTshirts subscriber Posts: 0
    Yes Junker, it would be helpful to have more details. And others have already touched on being able to differentiate your service from the competitions.
    You can now take your point of differientiation and use it to "attack" the competition via marketing. Tell your target audience why you are better than the me-tooers.Tell your target audience why your competition`s service- aint so great.
    Another avenue to explore.. I hear medical waste removal is lucrative. Can you look into this.. learn all about OSHA standards.. I know that dentists, doctors, hospitals, veternarians, healthcare clinics, HealthCare schools & Colleges all use the waste removal service to cart away to an incinerator. My college pays almost $3,500 for just two visits a year to pick up bio department lab specimens and a few practice syringes.
    Best wishes!DearlyDepartedTshirts2007-7-4 0:3:49
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    junkerjunker subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks for the input everybody, I`m really impressed by the volume of responses already!I know that the amount of information i`ve given you guys is a little bit insufficient, the problem is that I`m worried that one of my competitors or someone who could be in a position to damage my business will read this thread. MarkB, I like your suggestions, although it`s kind of ironic because a Got-Junk franchise is one of my competitors who came in a few years ago...Crazydiamond, good idea about repeat customers, if only i had any. Feedback that I`ve got goes mostly along the lines of  "I was satisfied with the service given but it is unlikely I will need it again.The other responders` suggestions about finding less obvious sources of business like medical waste or contracting companies were good ones that I am seriously considering taking up..Would anybody be willing to render some advice as to whats the best way to deal with franchises like Got-Junk because they seem to have a lot more money for advertising than I do...Thanks again!
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    saxmanstevesaxmansteve subscriber Posts: 5
    Hey Junker

    sorry I`m late to the game here. From what I`ve read above there has
    already been lots of really good advice posted.

    Like others I need to own up to the fact I know nothing about junk
    removal but it sounds to me as if it`s what the economists would call
    "perfect competition" i.e there`s no way of differentiating yourself from
    the other businesses. Hence why the franchising works - big name,
    advertising, standard procedures.

    There are some parallels, it seems to me, with the consulting business.
    What the consultants do is make there service really personal and use
    their clients to do their marketing for them.

    I think that`s what I would do, focus the entire business on the customer
    and make it really personal.

    When a customer calls and says " I need somebody to clear junk" is that
    all they want, or are there other dimensions to their problem? I don`t
    know the answer, but would try to find out, and then tailor the service
    around the unstated needs.

    In my book, excellent customer service is the best defence against bigger,
    badder competitors.
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    AlexiusAlexius subscriber Posts: 1
    How about expoiting the green environment cause? Just saw the Live Earth event yesterday and I think there is going to have a great movement going on around the globe. I thought of an idea of rebranding your `junk removal` company into `Lets be green` company. Focusing or extending your service to helping citizens on handling recyclable junks. I dont know if my crazy idea will work but it is definitely a great cause and hopefully stimulate buzz for your company.  
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    crazydiamondcrazydiamond subscriber Posts: 1
    Hey Junker - if you are still around, you are getting some thought provoking ideas here. Think you would get even more focused contributions, if you were to give a bit more information. I certainly understand your privacy concern, but I don;t see how anyone can help without some feedback and information.Every situation is different, and general advice only gets you so far...
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